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Bangladesh Stuns India in Thriller as Gill Century Falls Short

Bangladesh, Cricket, Cricket News, India, India vs Bangladesh, Shakib Al Hasan

Bangladesh

The Asia Cup, often criticized for lacking excitement, delivered another nail-biting encounter as Bangladesh secured a thrilling victory over India in a closely contested match. In a surprise turn of events, Bangladesh managed to defend a total of 265 despite a brilliant century from India’s Shubman Gill.

Although Bangladesh had already been knocked out of the Asia Cup, their performance showcased the depth of talent in the country. The team, with five changes, held their own against finalists and World Cup favorites, India. The match, played in Colombo, featured a spin-friendly pitch that favored Bangladesh’s spinners. However, it was Shakib Al Hasan’s heroic batting and the sensational debut of fast bowler Tanzim Hasan Sakib that engineered the turnaround.

India, making five changes to their lineup to provide opportunities to players who hadn’t featured in the tournament, showcased several positive aspects. Mohammed Shami demonstrated his readiness for the upcoming World Cup, Gill ended a six-month century drought, and Axar Patel impressed with the bat. However, India’s bowling struggled, especially against left-handed batters in the absence of Kuldeep Yadav.

Shakib and Nasum Ahmed led Bangladesh’s recovery, amassing 124 runs off 130 deliveries after their team had stumbled to 59 for 4. The two left-handers targeted India’s left-arm spinners, who conceded 70 runs off 60 balls. Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s off-spinners held their own, giving away 57 runs off 57 balls and dismissing two key Indian batters, including Gill.

Bangladesh had their fair share of luck, as India missed four catching opportunities, two of which were Shakib and Towhid Hridoy when they were newly at the crease. Prior to their partnership, Shami, Shardul Thakur, and Prasidh Krishna had kept Bangladesh under pressure.

India’s spinners allowed Bangladesh to stage a comeback when the pitch favored spin. Shakib, who initially presented chances with his aggressive intent, shifted gears adeptly, mixing steady recovery, easy singles, and three sixes against the left-arm spinners.

Hridoy, continuing his impressive tournament, crafted a well-paced half-century. Though not as explosive as Shakib, he targeted the bowlers intelligently, including two sixes off debutant Tilak Varma.

Thakur returned to dismiss Shakib, and Ravindra Jadeja claimed his 200th ODI wicket. However, Bangladesh refused to crumble, with the score reaching 161 for 6 in the 35th over. They not only played out all the overs but also managed to score 93 runs in the last 12, demonstrating their resilience.

One of the most exciting aspects of Bangladesh’s win was the emergence of Tanzim, who showcased a Mashrafe Mortaza-like action. Tanzim troubled India’s top order as the pitch started behaving unpredictably under the lights. He extracted seam movement and uneven bounce, dismissing Rohit Sharma for a duck and Tilak Varma, who shouldered arms.

Shakib wisely relied on his spinners to build pressure and induce errors, trusting Mahedi Hasan’s off-spin to confound the Indian batters. Mahedi conceded just three runs off his two overs and lured KL Rahul into a risky shot that found midwicket.

Ishan Kishan struggled throughout his brief innings, attempting a risky reverse shot only to be trapped lbw by Mehidy Hasan. Suryakumar Yadav managed 26 off 34 balls but found it challenging to rotate strike against spin, relying heavily on the sweep shot. However, Shakib knocked back his off stump to end his innings.

Gill, on the other hand, batted brilliantly, adapting to the challenging conditions on a tricky pitch. He showed resilience by consistently patting back the spinners and capitalized on errors in length, hitting five sixes by skipping down the pitch. Gill’s century, his first in a chase, was the most challenging of his career.

Despite Gill’s superb performance, he lacked support from the other end. Ravindra Jadeja was comfortable working singles but succumbed to a heave after Mustafizur Rahman bowled two dots at him. Needing 96 off 74, Gill and Axar formed a counterattacking partnership, adding 39 runs in six overs.

However, Mahedi displayed bravery by bowling off-spin to Gill in the death overs, eventually outsmarting the Indian opener. Gill scored 121 of the 209 runs while he was at the crease.

A resilient Axar, despite suffering injuries, kept India in the game. With 27 off 14, he managed consecutive boundaries off Mahedi, momentarily putting India in a favorable position with two overs to go. However, Mustafizur had other plans.

Ironically, Shardul Thakur hit a straightforward low full toss straight to a fielder, while Axar fell victim to a slower offcutter. Tanzim successfully closed out the match as the last pair attempted to score 12 runs off the final over.

While the match may have been a dead rubber, Bangladesh celebrated a thrilling victory against India, a welcome change after several heartbreaks in close encounters. The turning point in this trend began late last year when Mehidy, the batter, secured a one-wicket win in an ODI.

In a tournament often criticized for its predictability, this match served as a reminder of cricket’s unpredictable and exhilarating nature. Bangladesh’s determined performance and India’s valiant effort made it a match to remember in the annals of Asia Cup history.

Reference

https://www.espn.in/cricket/series/21597/report/1388412/bangladesh-vs-india-12th-match-super-four-asia-cup

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